Classic Pattern Styles – Learn To Design Toile de Jouy Patterns

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Have you ever looked at a Toile de Jouy pattern and wondered how someone could ever make such a complex and detailed pattern? And perhaps you wanted to make one yourself, but thought it seemed too difficult?

In this course I unveil all the secrets behind making this style of pattern design so that you can make a Toile de Jouy pattern of your own - from start to finish.

Toile de Jouy is the very sophisticated and decorative pattern design that first became popular in the late 18th century and has since then become a classic pattern. It is still very popular and frequently used for printing on fabric and paper and products ranging from wallpaper to stationery and all kinds of home decor and even fashion.

It's a fairly complex pattern though and may seem difficult to create, but in class you'll get all the knowledge, skills and tools you need. 


- The history behind the pattern - the story on how this particular pattern style evolved and became the classic it is today.

- Different styles, what influenced the Toile de Jouy designs and what characterizes the patterns.

- With some fun illustrating exercises we'll practice how to draw like an 18th century Toile designer so that you can mimic the style in your own Toile pattern.

- How to plan your pattern, gather source material and create a color palette.

- How to compose and create your motifs.

- Digitalizing your illustrations - how to best scan and vectorize your pattern motifs in Adobe Illustrator.

- Editing your motifs in Adobe Illustrator.

- How to assemble your Toile motifs into a pattern repeat in three different layout styles.

- How to color and recolor your Toile pattern.

This is an intermediate to advanced course, so you should be at least acquainted with Illustrator and also know a bit about how a pattern repeat works and is constructed.

Some lessons contains a lot of drawing and illustrating and if you feel that drawing isn't your strong side yet a tip is to take my other course first, called "Artistic Illustrations - Learn how to draw from objects and images".


- Sketching paper, pencil, eraser, ruler, ink pen of some sort (fine liner, ink brush pen with a small tip, old school ink dip pen etc)

- Scanner or your smartphone (for digitalizing your sketches)

- Computer and Adobe Illustrator

For the drawing exercises you'll find the images you need in the attached pdf "Toile de Jouy drawing exercises" on the right hand side in the project section.

Now let's get started!

I'm really excited to share what I've learned about this fantastic pattern design and hope to see you in class!

/ Bärbel



Your project for this course is to create your own Toile de Jouy pattern design, using everything you've learned in class. You can make your Toile pattern inspired by the traditional rococo style or a more contemporary and modern version.


Create a project in the project section of this class and a completed project should include the following:

- A short introduction of who you are. It's more fun if we know each other a bit :-)

- An inspiration board where you have gathered inspiration for your pattern, theme and motif scenes. It can consist of images from Pinterest, you own pictures, words, and other that has caught your eye and inspires you. I suggest you make it in Adobe Illustrator and then save it as an image/images for easy upload.

- A title and short description of the theme you've chosen for your toile pattern.

- 1-2 sentences describing each motif for your pattern.

- Optional: Photos or scans of your drawn motifs. Originals or the vectorized versions, it's up to you.

- Your finished toile pattern in one or more color ways from your color palette. (one color way is fine, but you know how it is - the recoloring process is so much fun it's hard to pick just one...)

My links:

- Blog & website

- Instagram

- Facebook

- Pinterest

- Bear Bell Shop

- Spoonflower

- Society6